The Shrimp Boat

Located at the back of this building was Salty Hawg, the grille where we enjoyed ice cold fresh oysters and delicious cat fish, dockside.

Now that the air is warming up, the sun is shining longer and the sweet smell of magnolias is in the air, Summer is in full swing here in the south.  Not only is this an excellent time to bring out the bold colors, and skin baring clothing, but also a time when out door events become their most popular. One of these being Panama City’s Water side Farmers’ market.  Each Saturday morning (8am-12pm) local farmers and artists set up their stalls and put on their biggest smiles. Local fishermen dock in the salty marina and begin preparing their haul to sell to those searching for the freshest fish in all of Bay County.  It is a great way to get the family out and connecting on Saturday afternoons as they have everything from your usual produce, crafts and home wares, to fun things for the kids: zucchini box car racing and crafts.

I have taken to going out early each Saturday with my Sister and her Hubby, and I am looking forward to my own fella joining me in the very near future. Today was not an exception. We slept in a tad later than usual, but made it just in time for a delicious dockside lunch of fresh, ice cold oysters and breaded catfish at a local bar/grille The Salty Hawg.  The puppy was in attendance also, munching rather noisily on a smuggled in Chicken nugget.  After we had finished stuffing our bellies with some of the most deliciously fresh sea food we could find, we ventured away from the farmers’ market to a road a little less traveled and boy were we rewarded for it.

Nestled along the banks of the bayou tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main street we found Little Village, a small cluster of buildings housing local artists crafts, and a yoga studio that also sells New Leaf Smoothies, complete with an amazing little sitting area with a view of the bayou. The puppy was rather intrigued by the scrap metal artwork, welded into the shapes of a Frog Mariachi band, or flying pigs.  That is, until he ran face first into the steely plume of a scrap metal rooster.

Three little shacks stood in bright colors on one side of the walk way, their little decks bedazzled with Sea shell chimes, and inside, their walls were decorated with hand sculpted wall art.  On the other side of the walk way a covered entrance shaded a nice Tea table with several wicker high backed chairs and the doorway into the yoga studio. The other side of the structure housed the small kitchen where Kaysea Lindsey produces New Leaf Smoothies. And just beyond the tea table a sturdy beautifully crafted deck stretched out over the water, the seating area for New Leaf smoothies.  The trees overhanging the deck were draped with glass baubles and fishing nets, hand made chimes and any other gloriously creative hand made wares that would hang from their branches.

We basked in the cool shade of Little Village, until the pup spotted another rascal approaching from across the walk way. We had to scurry away as to not frighten off the new pup toting patrons. Across the street stood an old structure that was, once upon a time, the first skating rink in Panama City, Florida. It’s tall doorway standing wide open, a view of it’s all wooden insides open for the whole world. out front antiques and pieces of salvaged iron work lined its drive way, begging to be picked through and taken to a loving home. Design Salvage, a sign up the street had advertised it. The couple that owns it makes a living salvaging antiques and interesting structure pieces from old southern homes. Among the treasures were many many old cabinets, kitchen islands, old chandeliers, and odds and ends of furniture pieces you can only find in old southern homes, and example being the Snake Cradle we found out front.  In the old south, when homes were still built with cross breezes and breeze ways in mind, dwellers were faced with more than a cooling problem. In the summer months when the doors and windows were left open to enjoy the steamy bayou air, often times predators – especially snakes in the bayous- would find their way into the home, and eventually the cradle or the crib.  To remedy this, cradles were soon made with shutter like structures on the top, lined with fine mesh and latched. While they look like some awful Pie safe for infants, they were quite a clever, life saving invention. I almost wanted to take this gem home simply for its rarity.

By the time we finished scouring the old building for treasures, it was late in the afternoon, and the heat was finally starting to set in to our already sun-kissed skin. The pup was more than happy to express how hot and tired he was by dragging us over to the largest shade tree he could find and flopping down, spread eagle in the cool sand.  We decided to call it a day, but we are looking forward to next Saturday.  Today was exactly what I needed after a very very busy couple of weeks, and I will be looking into taking up Yoga classes at Little village. Doing yoga with a group once a week might help change things up and add a challenge to my usual practice!